Task 2: As major cities around the world are growing fast and many problems occur, what are the problems that young people living in cities are facing? Give solutions to these problems.
The rapid growth of urban areas in the developing world has brought with it both challenges and opportunities. For young people in particular, the consequences of modern economic development and policy-making are stark.
One of the major features of the modern global economy is income and wealth inequality. This is a problem sweeping the world from New York to Lhasa. Increasingly, the major share of global wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small minority of rich individuals. There are some alarming statistics to bear this out: the world’s richest fifty people have as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the global population. One area in which this wealth and income disparity has affected young people is surely property prices. No longer is the dream of achieving success and owning one’s own home such a realistic prospect for many of today’s young. The gentrification of many Western cities and the ballooning property prices in urban areas in India and China has led to a situation where many people under 35 now face the reality of enduring lower living standards than the previous generation.
Undoubtedly something must be done about this. A number of world leaders and politicians have recognised the pitfalls of the global, free market economy, with many calling for more restraints on the market. Housing, for too long regarded as an investment by a generation of upwardly mobile earners, must be considered a social necessity. To that end, governments should develop measures to create an affordable housing market, either through social housing policy, rent controls or market interference. Further, a progressive system of taxation, whereby the wealthiest shoulder a greater tax burden, should be introduced.
There is no doubt that young people face sterner challenges in some parts of the world than their parents did. It is therefore vital for governments to develop co-ordinated, international policies to challenge the current economic status quo and address both the wealth disparity and the housing crisis.